Region Gotland and Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) have signed a lease agreement which entails the region investing around SEK 250 million (USD 32.7 million) in a new cruise ship quay, with CMP renting the quay for 20 years.
The project proposal was revealed last year, however the formation of partnerships that ensued cleared the way for all the local authorities to back the final draft agreement in August.
The marine archaeological surveys outside Kopparsvik commenced in November, and geotechnical surveys on the sea bed will take place in the spring.
The actual construction will start with dredging in spring 2016 and two years later the first cruise liners are expected to put into operation Gotland’s new cruise centre.
“Now it’s full steam ahead for all engines! The construction project is proceeding with planning and various surveys on site, and together with the island’s business community we will ensure that Gotland is ready when the quay is completed in 2018”, says the regional board’s chairman Åke Svensson.
“Constructing a cruise ship port and establishing an attractive cruise destination is an extensive operation, with a large number of public and private actors having to work well together. This is one of the most important reasons behind Copenhagen’s success, and something on which we place a lot of importance. The start of the project in Visby has been particularly promising”, says Arnt Møller Pedersen, Cruise Manager in Copenhagen Malmö Port AB.
During the period 2000 to 2012, the number of cruise passengers in the Baltic increased from 1.1 million to 4.2.
A cruise ship quay in Visby is estimated to increase the number of arrivals to around 150 cruise ships per year, with average passenger numbers of about 1,700 per ship, and revenues generated from tourism of around SEK 90-130 million per year.
CMP is one of Northern Europe’s leading cruise ship ports with some 346 ships and 800,000 passengers a year from more than 150 countries arriving in Copenhagen and Malmö.